United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MARY M. ROWLAND, District Judge.
Plaintiff's Motion to Compel  is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. All documents ordered produced shall be postmarked by April 21, 2014.
On February 1, 2013, Plaintiff served Liping Zhang, M.D., and Latonya Wil-liams, P.A. (Defendants) with Plaintiff's First Request for Production of Documents. On or about August 21, 2013, Plaintiff served Defendants with his Second Request for Production of Documents. In spite of several requests by Plaintiff, including fil-ing motions to compel, Defendants did not respond to the First and Second Request for Production of Documents until September 30, 2013.
In his Motion to Compel, Plaintiff seeks an order compelling the production of the information requested in his First and Second Request for Production. Plaintiff contends that Defendants' objections to the First Request for Production of Docu-ments have been waived as untimely. (Mot. 1-7). While Defendants should have re-sponded to Plaintiff's discovery requests within 30 days, Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(b)(2)(A), the Court exercises its discretion to rule on the merits of Defendants' objections. Nevertheless, Defendants are reminded of their obligations to respond to discovery without requiring Plaintiff to write letters demanding responses and to file motions to compel. Further incidents of this kind will result in modest sanctions to compen-sate Plaintiff for the money he spends on paper and ink in obtaining discovery re-sponses to which he is entitled.
Defendants' "main objection... is that the documents requested are those of Wexford Health Sources Inc. and not of the actual [sic] defendants, Dr. Zhang and Ms. Williams, P.A." [Dkt. 202 at 1]. "[I]t is well-settled that discovery obligations require a party to produce more than merely the documents in its possession." SRAM, LLC v. Hayes Bicycle Grp., Inc., 12 C 3629, 2013 WL 6490252 (N.D. Ill.Dec. 10, 2013). Rule 34(a)(1) calls for production of documents "in the responding party's possession, custody, or control. " (Emphasis added.) The concept of "control" is con-strued broadly and "includes documents that a party has the legal right to obtain on demand." Am. Soc'y for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, 233 F.R.D. 209, 212 (D.D.C. 2006). The fact that a docu-ment is generated by Dr. Zhang's employer, Wexford Health Sources, Inc., does not do away with Dr. Zhang's obligations under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to produce documents within his possession, custody or control.
After careful review of Plaintiff's Motion and Defendants' responses, the Court rules on Defendants' objections as follows:
First Request for Production
Request No. 1
Sustained. Defendants have produced the relevant policies in effect in and around 2008. The burden of producing the entire Prison Operations and Policies from 2007 through the present outweighs any benefits.
Request No. 2
Overruled. The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) claims this is a "Wexford document." Dkt. 198 at 4. In an order issued on April 1, 2014, the Court ordered the IDOC to "file a description of any Wexford Quality Improvement Pro-gram or Manuals' in its possession, custody, or control, as defined by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, that were in effect during the period of September 2008 through June 2011."[Dkt. 207]. Defendants Zhang and Williams are also ordered to produce, by April 21, 2014, a description of any Wexford Quality Improvement Pro-gram or Manuals' in their possession, custody, or control, as defined by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that were in effect between September 2008 through June 2011. The Court will then consider the issues of relevance and burden.
Request No. 3
Sustained. Wexford's "Orientation and Physician's Handbook" and "Orientation and Physician's Assistant Handbook or Manuals" from 2007 to the present is overly broad and is not likely to lead to admissible evidence.
Request No. 4
Sustained. Insurance agreements and policies are not relevant at this stage of the case.
Request No. 5
Sustained. Settlements regarding Defendants Zhang and Williams are not rea-sonably likely to ...